Virginia Legislator Revives ‘Tebow Bill’

Published January 6, 2013

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein almost emulated Tim Tebow as a homeschool graduate who won the Heisman Trophy for college football excellence. Klein placed third in this season’s Heisman voting. If state Sen. Tom Garrett gets his way, Virginia may cultivate more Tebows and Kleins.

Garret has revived a bill to let homeschool students play public school sports, which failed by one vote in Virginia’s Senate last year. The state’s superintendents association and teachers union have opposed similar bills introduced since 2005. They say homeschoolers can’t prove their classes and grades are credible, and homeschooled athletes therefore don’t meet the same academic standards as public school athletes.

The Garret bill requires homeschoolers to meet their public school team’s academic requirements for two years before they can join. Virginia Gov. Bob McDowell supports the bill. Spokesman Jeff Caldwell said, “Homeschool families are members of the community and pay the same taxes as families who send their children to public schools.”

Tebow grew up playing in Florida, and Klein in Colorado. Those are two of 18 states that currently allow homeschoolers to try out for public school teams. 

Image by Mark Trammell.